OR THE RIGHT SENSE OF PROPORTION
When Rishi Sunak became the first non-white Prime Minister of UK, the vociferous Hindu socio-cultural leaders of Mauritius saw it as a great victory of Hinduism in the world.
WHO IS RISHI SUNAK?
Rishi Sunak (born 12 May 1980) is a British politician who has served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party since October 2022. He previously held two Cabinet positions under prime minister Boris Johnson, lastly as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2020 to 2022. Sunak has been Member of Parliament (MP) for Richmond (Yorks) since 2015. Ideologically, Sunak has been described as belonging to the centre-ground of the Conservative Party.
Sunak was born in Southampton to parents of Indian descent who migrated to Britain from East Africa in the 1960s. He was educated at Winchester College, studied philosophy, politics and economics at Lincoln College, Oxford, and earned an MBA from Stanford University as a Fulbright Scholar. While at Stanford, he met his future wife Akshata Murty, the daughter of Indian billionaire N. R. Narayana Murthy of Infosys. After graduating, Sunak worked for Goldman Sachs and later as a partner at the hedge fund firms The Children’s Investment Fund Management and Theleme Partners.
Sunak was elected to the House of Commons for Richmond in North Yorkshire at the 2015 general election. As a backbencher, Sunak supported the successful Vote Leave campaign for the UK to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum. Following the 2017 general election, Sunak was appointed to a junior ministerial position in Theresa May’s second government as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Local Government in the 2018 cabinet reshuffle. He voted three times in favour of May’s withdrawal agreement for implementing Brexit, which was rejected by Parliament three times, leading to May announcing her resignation. During the 2019 Conservative Party leadership election, Sunak supported Johnson’s successful bid to succeed May as Conservative leader and prime minister, after which he appointed Sunak as Chief Secretary to the Treasury in July 2019.
After the 2019 general election, Johnson promoted Sunak to Chancellor of the Exchequer in the 2020 cabinet reshuffle after the resignation of Sajid Javid. During his time in the position, Sunak was prominent in the government’s financial response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact, including the Coronavirus Job Retention and Eat Out to Help Out schemes. He was also involved in the government’s response to the ongoing cost of living crisis, energy supply crisis, and global energy crisis. Sunak resigned as chancellor in July 2022 and stood in the July-September Conservative Party leadership election to succeed Johnson, who resigned amid a government crisis. He had received the most votes in each of the series of MP votes, but lost the members’ vote to Liz Truss.
After spending the duration of Truss’s premiership on the backbenches, Sunak stood in the October 2022 Conservative Party leadership election to succeed Truss, who resigned amid another government crisis. He was elected unopposed as Conservative leader on 24 October 2022 and was appointed prime minister by King Charles III the following day. He is the first British Asian and Hindu to hold the office of prime minister. Sunak took office amid the cost of living crisis, and has authorized foreign aid and weapons shipments to Ukraine in response to the Russian invasion of the country. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rishi_Sunak)
WHAT SHOUD WE CELEBRATE?
The triumph of Hinduism? Certainly not!
Onward Hindu Soldiers’ march? The Modi-Sunak-Jugnauth triumvirate’s rise to world power and fame? You must be joking!
Let’s celebrate a certain UK political maturity. Let’s celebrate a dent in the armour of racism and some advance on the road to full meritocracy.
Let us rather hope that the ‘Kalkita’ (from Calcutta, now Kolkata) Hindus of Mauritius finally understand:
• that Mauritius is NOT ‘Chota Barat’ or Little India and will never be;
• that Mauritius, Rodrigues and Agalega are creole islands peopled by Hindo-Creoles, Afro-Creoles, Franco-Creoles, Islamo-Creoles and Sino-Creoles who have transformed the original flora and fauna for better or for worse;
• that Mauritius is NOT a vaish territory to be governed by some ‘lord-ordained’ Vaish-R&J-leader;
• that we are all immigrants here who are duty-bound to promote democracy and meritocracy;
• that genuine Mauritian leaders with foresight will eventually pave the way for a better green future;
• that in the Maritime Republic of Mauritius, 3 creole languages (Rodriguan, Mauritian and English) are the foundation stone on which a new national culture will grow.
We must learn to read the writing on the wall and prepare the ground for the new world to come.
And most important of all: Let us not lose our sense of proportion.